Rougned Odor’s two-run homer in the second was all the Rangers needed after starter Cole Hamels miraculously escaped jam after jam in a 2-1 win Wednesday night at Globe Life Park. Sam Dyson, Jake Diekman and closer Shawn Tolleson combined for 2 1/3 scoreless innings of relief.
Pitching: Hamels worked out of jams in the first two innings, including a bases loaded, no-out mess after three singles to start the second. Some questionable base running by the Astros helped Hamels get out of it. On Marwin Gonzalez’s fly out to right, Colby Rasmus was caught between third and home when stopped halfway down the line after tagging up. Evan Gattis had already started for third and Carlos Gomez had already started for second, leaving Rasmus without no place to go. Hamels forced Jason Castro into a groundout to end the inning. After a solo homer by Tyler White in the sixth, Hamels walked Rasmus on 10 pitches with one out. After a visit from pitching coach Doug Brocail, Hamels got Gattis to ground into a 5-4-3 double play on his next pitch.
The Astros had the tying run in Rasmus on third with one out after a lead-off walk, groundout and stolen base in the seventh. Hamels struck out Jason Castro for the second out but then hit Jose Altuve on an 0-2 pitch to put runners on the corners. Sam Dyson replaced Hamels and forced George Springer to ground out softly back to the mound on his second pitch to end the threat.
The Astros were at it again in the eighth as Carlos Correa led off with a double off the wall in right-center. Dyson recorded and out before the left-hander Diekman came in to face the left-hitting Rasmus. Diekman got him looking at a fastball down in the zone. Diekman also caught Gattis looking on a similar pitch to end the inning and strand Correa at second.
Tolleson earned his fifth save with a scoreless ninth. Hamels earned the win to improve to 3-0. He has won a career-high 10th consecutive game.
Hitting: Odor’s two-run home run to the right field upper porch gave the Rangers a 2-0 lead in the second inning. Texas had chances to add runs in the fourth, fourth and sixth innings but failed to come up with a clutch hit. Mitch Moreland doubled with one out in the fourth Ian Desmond and Odor groundout out. Elvis Andrus doubled to lead-off the fifth but the next three Rangers were retired. With one out in the sixth, Adrian Beltre singled and Moreland walked but Desmond and Odor both flew out. Andrus reached on an E5 to start the seventh but was stranded when Bryan Holaday, Delino DeShields and Nomar Mazara struck out. Texas loaded the bases with no outs in the eighth against the Astros Ken Giles but failed to score. Desmond flew out to shallow right, Odor flew out to shallow left and Andrus struck out to end the inning.
Notable: Hamels hit the first two batters he faced in the first ... Astros right-fielder George Springer robbed Fielder of a double with a diving catching in the right-center gap in the sixth inning ... Hamels hit a career-high three batters ... Altuve was hit by a pitch twice (both Hamels) for the first time in a game ... Desmond threw out Altuve trying to stretch a single into a double for his first-career outfield assist ... Rangers and Astros combined to go 2 for 23 with runners in scoring position ... Rangers three-game win streak is a season-high.